|View of the California coast|
Test Drive III: The Passion is a driving game released by Accolade in 1990. It’s a sequel to of 1989’s Test Drive II: The Duel and it generally follows the standard Test Drive formula of driving exotic cars and fleeing from the police, except instead of 2D sprites the action in TD3 now takes place in a fully 3D world.
The game was a HUGE step forward in open world game design, with trains and traffic that followed realistic patterns, realistic weather effects and even hidden areas that waiting to be discovered. In TD3 it was now possible to choose from multiple routes and even race offroad. The only game that came close to offering similar experience was Spectrum Holobyte’s primative Vette.
Unfortunately the game is also very difficult to control, which might be explained by the fact that Test Drive III was developed in-house at Accolade instead of by Distinctive Software like the previous games.
Here’s a scan of Computer Gaming World’s review:
An add-on disk called Road & Car was also released that included a Cape Cod to Niagara course and two new cars. Here’s the CGW review:
Box scans. (courtesy Mobygames)
The game is pretty simple to play. Just use the keyboard arrow keys to steer/accelerate and hit W for windshield wipers and M to change the music.
Here’s a map of the game’s first area, showing shortcuts and alternate routes:
On the plus side the music is catchy and sounds great when played through a Roland card, and the game is bug-free and much more playable than previous similar open-world drivers like Vette.